Belfast Telegraph

Nama is now selling off Titanic Quarter owner's loans

By Margaret Canning

Nama, the Republic's bad bank, has started the process of selling off loans held by Titanic Quarter owner Harcourt Developments, according to reports.

But the Titanic Quarter itself does not feature in the loan book being disposed of, as its loans were held in Ulster Bank.

The Abbey portfolio of loans held by Harcourt, which is based in Dublin, is expected to be snapped up for around €300m.

The firm, which is led by Donegal man Pat Doherty, is one of the biggest owners of regional shopping centres in the Republic.

The company owns Galway Shopping Centre, Longwalk Shopping Centre in Dundalk, Parkway Centre in Limerick and the Parkwest Plaza in west Dublin.

Harcourt also owns a range of hotels including Co Donegal's Redcastle and Lough Eske - both familiar to Northern Ireland visitors - and the five-star Carlisle Bay Resort in Antigua.

According to the Irish Times, accountancy firm KPMG has been instructed to sell the portfolio.

KPMG refused to comment on the potential deal, and a spokesman for Nama did not return requests for comment. Harcourt also failed to respond to a request for comment.

Two years ago, Ulster Bank sold off loans which had been taken out by Titanic Quarter Ltd to develop the waterfront area, which includes apartments, offices and a budget Premier Inn hotel.

Those loans were snapped up by US fund Davidson Kempner. Shortly afterwards, then-Titanic Quarter chief executive David Gavaghan was let go, along with two senior colleagues.

In an earlier interview, Mr Gavaghan told the Belfast Telegraph that he regretted that the loan sale had taken place.

"We were sorry Ulster Bank sold their loans," he added. "We wish they hadn't."

Mr Gavaghan is now chairman of the CBI in Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph